Perhaps her face is so expressive because she can’t speak. A stroke took her voice, but not her smile.
Definitely not her smile.
I met Ida in July 2011 on my first trip to Romania when I was just getting started as an advocate for the homeless elderly there. The photo to the right reflects Ida’s ability to communicate extreme delight without speaking a single word. Such a jubilant reaction to such a simple gift!
Ever since our first meeting, I’ve anticipated seeing Ida’s smiling face each time I return to Romania. Last summer was no different. After we visited and prayed, I took our picture by holding my iPad in front of us so she could see our faces as I snapped the photograph. It was my favorite photo of us until April of this year.
That’s when a friend captured the precious moment when Ida and I were reunited.
Is her joy reflected in my face, or my joy reflected in hers?
I’m in Romania this week, and, as always, I was looking forward to being with sweet Ida and all my friends there. But our reunion will be delayed. Ida suffered another stroke. And this one took her life.
Thankfully we were not just friends, but sisters in Christ. So Ida and I will see each other again, just not in Romania. Just not on this planet.
Can you even begin to envision what expressions we’ll have on our faces at that reunion?
But what comforts and cheers me today is imagining Ida leaving this world behind … and then looking into Jesus’ face.
Thinking about Ida being face to face with her Savior and Friend reminds me of something Fanny Crosby said. Although she was blinded as a baby when an incompetent doctor attempted to treat her eye infection, she became one of the greatest hymn writers in history.
“If I had a choice,” Fanny said, “I would still choose to remain blind…for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Savior.”